Vikings Aiming To Have Full Capacity Of Fans At 2021 Training Camp
Following the most recent announcements from Governor Walz on pandemic guidance for the state, the Minnesota Vikings say they are looking to bring back a pre-pandemic level of fans to training camp in 2021.
The Vikings did not allow fans at their 2020 training camp, and the team did not sell tickets to fans for regular season home games during the 2020 season. They hope to see drastic changes to both of those for 2021.
Vikings executive vice president of public affairs Lester Bagley told the Pioneer Press they hope to "bring 4,000 to 5,000 people a day to training camp, which then leads into our preseason". That level of fans is similar to the number of people the Vikings welcomed to their 2019 training camp, when the team capped fan attendance to 5,000 total fans.
While training camp comes after the July 1 date by which Minnesota's mask mandate would expire, Bagley reinforced the effort to vaccinate Minnesotans, telling the Pioneer Press "A lot of work to be done and we need to bring the vaccination rate up and get that 70 percent that the governor has talked about." He explained that the team is actively promoting the need to be vaccinated "because it helps get our stadium full.’’
While some teams had limited numbers of fans in the stands in 2020, the Vikings did not sell tickets for any of their home games. They did welcome very small numbers of people into the stadium in the later parts of the season, but the hope is to see fans in larger numbers at games in 2021.
The NFL's commissioner set a goal in March of "having full stadiums in the upcoming season", and the Bagley reiterated that goal locally for the Vikings.
While there has been no specific guidance from the state level about professional sporting events, the current trajectory of Minnesota's policies related to the pandemic seen to point to fans in the stands either with very few or no restrictions at all.
Governor Walz's roadmap to end pandemic restrictions eliminates all indoor and outdoor business and gathering restrictions by the end of May except for the mask mandate, which is in place until July 1 or 70% of residents 16 or older are vaccinated, whichever comes first. This would suggest it is all systems go for the Vikings later this summer and into the start of the regular season in September.
While we await the start of the season, here is a look at the opponents the Vikings will face in 2021.